About The Bee Hive

The hive is made up of three distinct individuals with very specific tasks. Of the total population, 97% are female worker bees. In the summer, the life span of the worker bee is about 45 days. They perform every task necessary for the successful operation of the hive. You will find: nurse bees caring for the babies, bees making and sculpting wax comb, house bees cleaning the hive, food transfer bees, fanning bees to cool the hive, undertaker bees to carry away dead bees as well as a police force of guard bees and of course attendant bees to care for the queen.

The first 17 days of the worker bee’s life is spent within the hive learning each task from a bee that is one day older. After 17 days of learning and doing, they become foraging bees collecting nectar, pollen, plant resins and water until they die. They’ll fly for more than two miles in every direction of their hive covering more than 8600 acres. Each worker typically contributes only an 1/8th of a teaspoon of honey within her life!

The second individual in the hive is the drone or male bee. The drone is considerably larger than the worker bee and is fed by the workers because he has no mouthparts to feed himself; he has no stinger to defend the hive, nor pollen baskets on his legs. Unlike his sisters, he is free from any responsibility in the hive and is welcome in any hive. He is gifted with excellent vision and strong wings. And his only job is to mate with a virgin queen. He does this while flying outside the hive and dies during the process. Because they consume too much food to be a viable resident of the colony over winter, drones that do not have an opportunity to mate are literally kicked out of the hive by their sisters to die once the weather starts to turn cold towards the end of September.

Finally, the third individual of the hive is the one and only Queen herself. She is the mother of all the bees in the hive, lives up to five years, lays between 1200 to 2000 eggs per day in the summer, and chooses to lay both fertilized eggs (female workers) or unfertilized (male) eggs. She is constantly attended by her adoring daughters who feed, groom and anticipate her every need. But, when the colony senses their queen is failing, they’ll select a dozen or so fertilized eggs and load them with royal jelly to create a new queen that will “supersede” her mother. The first virgin queen to hatch from the peanut shaped cell will sting and kill the other queen candidates and escort her mother to the exit. Beekeepers, however, may also choose to re-queen a colony. Queens that are bred for specific characteristics such as mite resistance or a gentle disposition can be ordered and shipped through the mail.

For more information contact: Eric@BeeHavenBees.com